UNITED NATIONS MISSION
We, the peoples of the United Nations, are determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
War, twice in our lifetime, has brought untold sorrow to mankind.
- The equal rights of men and women, and of nations large and small.
- Establishing conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, can be maintained.
- Promoting social progress and better standards of life with greater freedom.
FORMATION OF THE UN
The UN was founded in 1945, replacing its predecessor the League of Nations. In the same year the United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UNA-UK) was formed. The dual aims of UNA-UK are to act as the UK’s source of independent analysis of UN affairs, and to operate as a nationwide grassroots movement for peace, development and human rights.
UN’s SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG’s)
A series of Sustainable Development Goals has been agreed at the UN for the period 2015-2030. Considerable success has been experienced during the preceding fifteen years in achieving many of the earlier agreed goals. Much more needs to be done. One of the major successes has been a reduction in world poverty by an estimated fifty percent since 2000. The Sustainable Development Goals are:
- End poverty in all forms everywhere.
- End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
- Ensure healthy lives and improve well-being for all.
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Promote life-long learning opportunities.
- Improve gender equality and empower women and girls.
- Ensure the availability and sustainable management of water, and sanitation for all.
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
- Promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, full productive employment and decent work for all.
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustained industrialisation, foster innovation.
- Reduce inequality both within and among nations
- Make cities, towns and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
- Conserve the use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
- Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. Provide access to justice for all. Build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
- Strengthen the means for implementing and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development.
(Ref. UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 5) – “Improve gender equality and empower women and girls.”
Some progress was made during the fifteen years leading up to 2015 when governments and civil society focused on this issue as part of the now superseded Millennium Development Goals. However, huge inequalities and injustices still exist.
Q. Is gender equality achievable during our lifetimes?
UNA Shropshire has devoted one of its evening discussions to the topic. They were led by Dr Isabel Carter, who was able to bring to bear her knowledge and experience of Ethiopia, where Self Help groups have brought huge encouragement to the lives of women and girls living in poverty. Some of the more important comments and suggestions made at the meeting are given below. The list is not exhaustive but may stimulate further thought and action.
- Organise a campaign for Nordic model legislation against prostitution.
- Campaign to make pornography unacceptable.
- Aim to give schoolchildren information on, and the consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM).
- Reduce the working hours of women to allow more time for caring, bearing in mind career development needs.
- Girls can often feel intimidated in a male environment.
- Support funding for local women’s shelters.
- Girls need positive role models. Encourage them to believe they can function effectively in leadership roles.
- Literacy can bring liberation.
- Make use of social media to encourage and empower women and girls to ‘achieve’.
- Take workshops into schools, working with small mixed groups.
- Address male verbal abuse in public places.
- Organise pre-puberty classes in parent craft and relationship skills.